One of the oldest stores on Aberdeen’s Union Street could soon close its doors for the final time after British Home Stores (BHS) confirmed it is going into administration.
A total of 164 shops and nearly 11,000 jobs are at risk.
First opened in 1974, the city’s department store chain has been a stalwart of the Granite Mile for generations of Aberdonians.
But now the business, which opened its first shop in Brixton in 1928, has officially been handed over to administrators Duff and Phelps.
Just over a year ago BHS was bought by the firm Retail Acquisitions for just £1 from retail tycoon Sir Philip Green of the Arcadia Group, which also operates Topshop, Evans and Burton.
But last night the future of the firm and the security of its employee’s jobs remained unclear.
A spokeswoman for the administrators said that recent attempts to strike a deal with possible buyers for BHS have been fruitless.
The spokeswoman said: “The group has been undergoing restructuring and, has been widely reported, the shareholders have been in negotiations to find a buyer for the business.
“These negotiations have been unsuccessful.
“The group will continue to trade as usual whilst the administrators seek to sell it as a going concern.”
John Hannett, the general secretary of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW) said: “We are in touch with our members working in BHS to reassure them that we will provide the support, advice and representation they require.
“We don’t want to see BHS staff locked out of discussions, sent to the back of the queue of creditors and treated like fixtures and fittings, as happened at Woolworths.”
The store, which occupies 91 to 93 Union Street, has been leased to BHS for 42 years.
The property is currently owned by private investors.
Jenny Laing, the leader of Aberdeen City Council, said if BHS does disappear from Union Street it would be a sore loss for the city.
Ms Laing said: “It’s always worrying when you hear about large businesses like this going into administration, and BHS has been part of Aberdeen’s main street for a very long time.
“I think the people of Aberdeen would be sorry to see BHS go, but of course the immediate worry is the Aberdeen jobs that are now at risk.”
Last night a spokeswoman for BHS would not confirm how many people are employed at the Union Street store.